Brody Sweeney’s Camile Thai is now expanding to the US ghost kitchen sector with tech such as drones and kitchen automation at the heart of its plans.

Camile Food Group and ghost kitchen industry player Kitchen United are launching the popular Camile Thai chain in the US with Kitchen United MIX.

The first Camile Thai US location is Kitchen United’s newly opened Chicago Loop Kitchen Center at 205 W. Wacker Drive. The team will serve made to order, plant forward Thai dishes, with a sustainability-focused ethos.

“The pandemic has altered how restaurants operate and given the go-ahead for virtual kitchens, without a storefront, to flourish”

The Camile Thai and Kitchen United partnership will continue to grow throughout 2021, with new locations opening in Chicago River North, Pasadena and Austin.

Ghost kitchen revolution transforms dining

Man sitting in restaurant.

Camile Thai founder Brody Sweeney

A ghost kitchen, also known as a dark kitchen, is a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up for the preparation of delivery-only meals.

Camile guests can order the brand’s iconic green curries, crispy chilli chicken and pad thai for delivery via popular delivery providers.

Since opening its first restaurant in 2010, Camile Thai has expanded to 40 locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has quickly gained popularity as a tech-savvy leader in the food delivery space.

The company was an early adopter of a hot food at home delivery model and currently serves over 10,000 healthy meals every day to consumers across its network of franchised and company owned locations.

“While a lot of new trends and short-lived concepts have emerged in the last year amid the rise in popularity of ghost kitchens, Camile Thai offers long-term opportunity and value for operators looking to grow via a licensed model”

In recent months the company announced 300 new jobs and plans to expand to 15 new locations on the back of pandemic-fuelled growth.

In April ThinkBusiness reported how in a partnership with REEF’s Neighbourhood Kitchens in London, Camile Thai. headed by entrepreneur Brody Sweeney, began its expansion into the UK market with a Neighbourhood Kitchen in Canary Wharf.

“We are excited to bring our concept to the US and work closely with Kitchen United given its definitive leadership position in the ghost kitchen industry, along with an impressive list of existing and prospective operator partners,” Sweeney said.

“The pandemic has altered how restaurants operate and given the go-ahead for virtual kitchens, without a storefront, to flourish. The rise of the on-demand economy has driven a monumental shift in traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant service. Last year saw the most significant adoption of technology in our industry’s history with volume digital food ordering and delivery at its core, and Camile Thai has been a first-mover in Europe. Additionally, we offer operator partners a flexible franchise model to position them for sustained success.”

Kitchen United has plans to open more ghost kitchen locations this year, expanding to and in existing markets including Los Angeles, Austin and New York City. 

“Kitchen United is constantly evaluating new and innovative ways to support our restaurant partners, and working with Camile Thai to present licensing opportunities to operators within our kitchen centers looking to establish a delivery-only business, or build a new segment of their existing portfolio is a perfect illustration of that,” said Atul Sood, chief business officer of Kitchen United.

“While a lot of new trends and short-lived concepts have emerged in the last year amid the rise in popularity of ghost kitchens, Camile Thai offers long-term opportunity and value for operators looking to grow via a licensed model. Based on our partnership with dozens of operators and Camile Thai’s proven experience, we are well-positioned to grow together here in the US.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 9 June 2021